Design & Construction | Real Estate
INTERVIEW: Giorgos Kavallis
Tell us a few words about your company
Our Paros-based estate agency was established in 1999. We are active in the design and construction of high-end residential properties, drawing on the century-long architectural tradition of the Greek islands, coupled with modern-day needs. We have recently entered the real estate sector through REMAX PRIME, taking a holistic approach to our work.
How do you ensure, as a company, harmony between aesthetics and functionality?
Aesthetics and Functionality, Functionality and Aesthetics are closely intertwined –one cannot stand without the other. The construction of a building is, in itself, an intervention into the natural environment. Our prime concern is for the structure to give an ‘as if it was always there’ impression.
In a period that climatic change influences the buying habits of many people, how do you make sure that your products are friendly to the environment?
We use natural materials sourced from the surrounding landscape and the island’s own bounty aiming at a minimal energy footprint. We build Mediterranean gardens utilizing native plants so as to ensure water efficiency.
What are the reasons that contribute to the growth of the real estate market on the island?
Paros is an island with a subdued relief of low hills, featuring mountains only at its center. Easy access to stunning beaches, as well as to and from the island, are some of the assets making Paros a top destination. What is more, Paros is the only Greek island whose development is regulated by a General Urban Plan that specifies strict building codes per zone.
What factors does a project’s success depend on?
On a meeting of the minds between the architect and the owners, as well as an understanding of their needs and perceptions. What is necessary is the appropriate positioning of the structure in space and time, an excellent mastery of the operations undertaken in the project, and their systematic supervision.
Should I buy or build? – what are the pros and cons?
Buying a ready-made home offers the advantage of immediate use and lower cost, however, adapting it to the needs of the new homeowners can make it more expensive. Currently, a major disadvantage of having a new structure built is the higher costs. Among the advantages are knowing the quality of its construction and tailoring the residence to the owners’ needs.
What is the importance of bioclimatic architecture in the Cyclades?
In the past, buildings erected on the islands were invariably bioclimatic. Materials sourced from the surrounding landscape were used and masons were exceptionally savvy when it came to techniques and climatic conditions. Today, we must try harder to construct bioclimatic buildings using appropriate materials and ensuring they blend in with the environment so as to preserve the islands’ aesthetic character as well as their energy self-sufficiency.
Functionality or aesthetics?
A functional house, austere and unadorned, is at the same time aesthetically sound.
What is the secret to your success?
I comply with Vitruvius’ architectural principles: firmness, utility, beauty.